This is the story of one of the most important American newspapermen of the twentieth century. Roy Howard rose to prominence at the height of newspapers’ power and became a leader in the evolution of print news starting in 1908—when E. W. Scripps appointed him head of the fledgling United Press at age 25—through his tenure as chairman of the Scripps-Howard empire until 1952. As Howard expanded and modernized the business, he landed some of the most important scoops between World War I and the Korean War. Ebullient, likeable, and outgoing, he headed one of only two coast-to-coast news concerns—Hearst being the other. An advisor to presidents and prime ministers, Howard witnessed the most significant events of the time. A 1930 front-page New York Times article named him one of the 59 men who “rule” America, with John D. Rockefeller topping the list. Time magazine put him on the cover. The Saturday Evening Post lionized him. Even his enemies gave him plenty of coverage: The New Yorker excoriated him in a four-part series, although the author admitted that Howard’s and Hearst’s were the only American newspaper publishers whose photographs the average newspaper reader would recognize. With exclusive, first-time access to thousands of previously unpublished documents in the privately held Howard family archives, author Patricia Beard opens a rich mine of stories from one of the most volatile periods in history as revealed by the head of a newspaper empire at a time when the press both made and broke the news.
Patricia Beard is the author of ten books, including Blue Blood & Mutiny: The Fight for the Soul of Morgan Stanley and After the Ball: Gilded Age Secrets, Boardroom Betrayals, and the Ball that Ignited the Great Wall Street Scandal of 1905. She is a former features editor at Town & Country, ELLE, and Mirabella magazines, and hundreds of her articles have appeared in national publications.